3.

My son spent the entire morning whining that he wanted to watch “the super Mickey movie.” He had seen it once on tv, but it wasn’t On Demand. We didn’t have the DVD. We scoured YouTube. All to no avail. I explained over and over that it wasn’t on right then. The whining continued.

Later that day, I saw the coveted movie at Target! So I spend $19.99 that I shouldn’t be spending and brought it home. When I arrived, I excitedly told my son I had a surprise for him. Giddy with anticipation, he asked what it was. When I showed him, he immediately started crying and yelling that he didn’t want it. He wanted “a different surprise.” He spent the next 45 minutes screaming about how he didn’t want the super Mickey movie. This is 3.

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3 is obtuse and brazen, aggressive and always right. 3 doesn’t take no for an answer. It has unprecedented energy reserves. 3 never wants to go to bed at night, and is too tired to get up in the morning. It ask for pasta for dinner and then refuses to eat it because there are “little green things” on it (spices), that have been on every piece of pasta 3 has ever eaten before but is just now noticing. 3 never wants to wear the shirt it’s mom picks out. 3 cannot be reasoned with. It is unyielding and bossy, and more belligerent than an angry drunk. It wants to do everything itself, and refuses help no matter how frustrated it gets. This is 3.

But 3 is also “mommy, make sure you give me a big hug and a kiss before you leave.” 3 is “cuddle in bed with me a little longer, mommy.” 3 loves to help daddy with jobs that 13 will refuse to do in 10 years. It truly believes that it has the power to make other cars go faster and get out of our way by banging its shoes together. 3 is starting to notice how amazing the world around it is.

It is profoundly innocent and gloriously lacking in the self-consciousness that keeps the rest of us from acting silly. 3 laughs and dances and runs with abandon.

For better or worse, 3 is growing up too quickly.

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